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You buy a new mint bass for say...2000 bucks, pounds, euros....

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Whippet, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    then take care of the bass as you use it for a bunch of years. It gets a little bit scratched but nothing horrible. Preamp works fine. Pots work fine. Rod works fine. Fret wear is minimum. It plays fine.

    Then you decide to sell it. The selling price is roughly half, give or take 5% plus minus.

    You guys ever think about the depreciation when selling or was that in your mind when you bought the bass?

    You're selling for quite a bit lower than you bought it. You guys ever think I'm taking a beating on this instrument or is it just a way of life.

    One man's used equipment on sale is another man's love of life? This isn't about crying over an equipment you should have kept but losing money on instruments. You guys ever think about this or is the next bass on your mind justifying the loss in money?
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It depends why you're buying a bass. If you're just flipping then you shouldn't play it at all. But if you're buying an instrument to play than the loss in resale value is a side effect of playing the bass just like fret wear.
    Lesfunk and Whippet like this.
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Since very few things in life appreciate in value over their lifespan, I’ve rationalized depreciation as a “rental fee”. In your case, let’s say your bass depreciated $1000 over 10 years, that’s $100 per year “rental”, or about 8.50 per month. Not bad. It would have sucked if you decided to sell that bass after a year - you still would have had a sizeable amount of depreciation.

    If that’s not acceptable, you could find ways to minimize depreciation. That often means buying used.
    Whippet and Jim Dedrick like this.
  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    My selling price on anything is going to primarily reflect how quickly I want it out of my way. If someone wants to calculate an algorithm to accurately value every ding and scratch, notes played per year, etc. then they can price their goods accordingly.
  5. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    True, but don't people get remorse? I mean it's not like the instrument is no longer good. It's not like an apple that's rotting and not edible. Style of playing might change but the bass is still good.

    I guess I was trying to quantify how much loss is acceptable.
  6. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    I've thought of that. In fact I thought that practically everything including life itself is something like a lease. But as you mention, the only other option is to buy used and let someone else take the initial hit.
  7. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I rarely buy new so it's not an issue.
    Whippet likes this.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    If you are planning on frequent flipping, you should be buying used. I've owned my two main basses 32 and 14 years, with no plans to sell, so it's not an issue. I also take good care of them, so they don't look reliced.
    Whippet likes this.
  9. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    It is like buying a car that depreciates immediately. It just happens.

    If you have a choice between a brand new Fender Jazz Elite or a 15 year old used one, would you pay the same price for both? How much cheaper does it need to get before it is a good buy?

    Also, how soon do you want to get rid of the instrument and how rare is it? The higher your price, the fewer buyers you have. The less rare it is, the more competition you have for prices.

    I believe if you are thinking of reselling the instrument as soon as you get it, you shouldn't be buying it.
    Whippet likes this.
  10. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I rarely think of resale value ... if it's something I want, or more importantly, need to do my job. I run my vehicles to the ground usually. I rarely sell my instruments or gear. And I rarely buy anything of value new, preferring to let the first guys take the hit. It's just the way it is.
    Whippet likes this.
  11. Perrygoround


    Jun 27, 2016
    Nowadays I do care about reselling value. So when there is something in my radar that I think I may want to sell in the future, I look on the 2nd hand market. This way I minimize the loss. Sometimes I have made even a marginal benefit.
    There are other times when I want something really specific, not found on the used market, so I make sure I will use it for a long time and if that's the case, I buy it new and assume that the money spent will never come back as such, but as the joy of using that gear.
    hbarcat, Whippet and James Collins like this.
  12. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I don't usually think of it. I buy a bass hoping that I'll keep it forever. But these days if I sell something it's because I need the cash. Though the next time that happens I'm going to do my best not to sell my gear. It's more expensive in the long run.
  13. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    Had the same trombone for about 40 years. I did sell one, which was a cheap student model that I beat the heck out of (good working order, but a lot of repairs to keep it there) and sold on cheap to a new student, after several decades of dragging two trombones around, one of which I didn't use. If I recall correctly what it cost new 40-odd years ago, it's worth similar or even a hair more these days, based on listings I can find, not that I'm selling, and not that those dollars are worth what the dollars that bought it were. But it's keeping up with inflation as far as I can see, without becoming some kind of absurd collectors item for stupid money. The case has looked better, but a good case-fixer is perhaps even harder to find than a good brass tech or luthier.

    EB I made a very distinct point of buying used, good value and stopping right there. As it happens I'm not even using the EB much at all due to who I can actually find to play with - I'm loath to sell it off in case that changes and because I enjoy it for itself; also because I waited months to get a good deal on it, so merely getting the cash (or even a bit more) back out of it would not mean easily replacing it in the future if things changed.

    The UB is borrowed, but if need be I'll buy one. Odds are that won't be new or the price of a new car. Odds are better that I'll make a functional replacement that's not exactly a UB and not exactly an ABG, and that process would be jump-started if I need to un-borrow the one I use now. The reasonably priced used EB might serve as a parts donor in that case, if needed. Meanwhile, me using the UB is better for the UB than its owner not using it.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Never. It never crosses my mind.

    That being said, I look for deals usually. So it doesn't have to cross my mind.
    Whippet likes this.
  15. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014

    You keep anything used long enough, the price point seems to always go back to the original used buying price. LOL
  16. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    I usually buy a bass just like you do. But lately I noticed when my local store has some sort of sale item, it's always messed up.

    I bought a discounted neck through Musicman Stingray and dang..... what a mistake. You couldn't understand the mistake until you start cranking the truss rod. I ended up having to plek it and if I ever refret the stupid thing, I will take off the fingerboard, put in a new rod, put some carbon or titanium stringers, and do the entire thing over. Now we are talking serious additional bucks for a 1500 buck bass. (mind you, this thing was new, mint, no scratch condition when I bought it)

    This Stingray, I have a love hate emotion. I hate it but Yet I hesitate on selling it because I spent so much time and money on pleking that idiot instrument. (I had 10 days in Japan to do business and tend to family affairs and I wasted 1.5 days for this crap instrument).

    This stupid MM NT dissuaded me from buying a Bongo.

    Anyway seems like instrument makers will deliberately sell a defect to get the most out of their investments. MM wasn't the only one I came across. Ibanez, Yamaha, etc etc. I am sure the stores know about this. They just have to sell whatever comes their way, which is why they knock down the price so low.

    Going through all this and a bunch of other stuff, buying used isn't bad at all. Someone already took the hit and most likely tried to set it up correctly. If it failed, it would have shown in the playability when I picked it up.
  17. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    Sorry if unclear - that one (the 40+ year good one, used now) is at or above (new then.) OTOH, the cheap, beat, student model cost money (perhaps 1/3 the good one) when new and sold for peanuts (definitely less than its collected repair bills) when finally sold. That one was unlikely to appreciate if held longer both because it was "heavily reliced" (the authentic way - give shiny object to 10-year old and wait for events) and was not merely inexpensive, but cheap (in the quality sense.)
  18. I can see me buying a near-mint pre-owned bass for around $1k.
  19. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    I never fall in love with something I'm buying. It makes impulse buying an emotional buying a non issue. If it's a geed deal for me ( or a fair deal at a minimum, I'd consider it ) I never purchase with the intent to sell however ( unless I'm purposefully looking to flip something because I found a killed deal ... it happens ).
  20. HubbardsFate

    HubbardsFate Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    I look at buying basses these days much the same as I look at buying vehicles: why the heck would I even THINK about buying brand-new when the market is absolutely chock-full of quality used stuff?

    In other words, this'll probably never be an issue for me. The ONLY scenario I can see myself buying a bass brand-new is if it's something that is (A) quite unique and/or (B) I "have" to have ASAP...otherwise, I'm more than happy to buy something where someone else before me has taken the depreciation hit...:whistle:

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